The common question that is asked is what is the difference between natural skincare for eczema and the traditional cortisone treatment?
Topical steroid creams are the most commonly prescribed treatment for eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions. However, it is definitely not the best eczema treatment available to us. In fact, it may be causing more harm than good.
In this article, we will talk about topical steroid creams and their side effects so that we can understand what we are putting onto our skin. We will also take a closer look at some of the ingredients found in our natural skincare products and explain their benefits for eczema.
What is Hydrocortisone Cream Used for?
Hydrocortisone is a type of topical steroid cream and is easily the most widely used topical treatment for eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions. However, hydrocortisone is not the only type of steroid cream available.
There are many different types of steroid creams on the market, all varying in potency and ranging from mild to very potent.
The potency of the cream prescribed by your doctor will depend on the severity of your skin condition. The more potent the cream, the more effective it will be in reducing inflammation and, unfortunately, the more extreme the side-effects will be with prolonged use.
It’s important to note that the side-effects experienced are the same across the board with all topical steroid creams, it is just the severity of the symptoms that will vary.
Additionally, although they are called steroids, these creams are nothing like the illicit steroids used for body building and other sporting activities.
Also known as corticosteroids, this treatment can come in the form of creams, ointments, and lotions.
Corticosteroids are extremely effective in treating eczema flare ups as it helps to dramatically reduce the inflammation associated with the skin condition. However, steroid creams are only effective for symptomatic relief and by no means offers a long-term cure or solution to this chronic skin condition.
Instead – if you really feel that this is the route you want to take – cortisone creams should be used for only a few consecutive days to bring the flare up under control and a safer, more natural alternative should be used as maintenance.
Hydrocortisone Side Effects
Long-term use of steroid creams, regardless of their potency, can cause the following side effects:
- Thinning of the skin which makes the affected areas of the skin more vulnerable to damage
- Changes in skin colour in that it can cause hyperpigmentation, especially when the areas of the skin which are being treated with the steroid cream are exposed to the sun
- Exacerbating or spreading of an existing skin infection
- Excessive hair growth in areas of treated skin
- Contact dermatitis due to an allergic response to ingredients in the cream (mostly to preservatives)
- Acne or exacerbating existing acne
- Folliculitis (inflamed hair follicles)
- Stretch marks due to the thinning of the skin
When potent or very potent steroids are used over a large area of skin or for prolonged periods of time, there is risk of the active ingredients being absorbed into the blood stream (known as systemic absorption) and this can cause systemic side effects.
Cortisone creams are known to mask symptoms of infected skin which means that you may not be aware that you have an underlying infection. As a result, the infection can spread to other parts of the body before you have a chance to treat it.
Natural Skincare for Eczema – How to Treat Eczema Naturally
Although steroid creams can be used to treat flare ups of inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, treatment should never exceed 10-14 consecutive days.
Instead, a natural alternative should be used as maintenance. Mojo Magic products contain several natural ingredients which are safe for long-term use.
Below are just some of the ingredients in our products which are particularly beneficial for eczema.
The jojoba plant grows in harsh, desert climates and produces a wholesome nut which offers many healing properties.
Jojoba oil is extracted from the nut and can be used on its own or as a carrier oil for other essential oils.
Benefits of jojoba oil for the skin:
- Antibacterial – this is particularly useful in inflammatory skin conditions which tend to be weepy and prone to infection
- Moisturizing – eczema is often characterized by dry, flaky skin. Jojoba oil works to seal the skin with a protective layer which prevents moisture loss
- Antioxidant – it contains natural forms of vitamin E which is a potent antioxidant and can help keep the skin safe from environmental stressors such as pollutants and other harmful toxins
- Hypoallergenic – unlike many other botanical oils, jojoba oil is typically non-irritating which is crucial for skin which is prone to allergic reactions
- Speeds up wound healing – preliminary research has shown that jojoba oil has the potential to speed up wound healing by encouraging the skin cells to bind together
Beeswax is literally the wax that comes from bees. It is what the worker bees make and use to store the colony’s honey.
This incredible substance is known to have antibacterial properties and has been used for centuries to treat general skin ailments, wounds, burns, and chronic skin conditions.
Beeswax can offer the following benefits for the skin:
- Protection against environmental factors – important for people who have sensitive skin which is prone to allergic reactions from external stressors or pollutants
- Hydration – as mentioned before, hydration plays a key role in the treatment of eczema which commonly presents as dry and flaky
- Provides relief for itching skin – thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, beeswax provides significant relief for itching skin
- Heals and restores – with exceptional healing properties, beeswax can help heal skin that has been damaged and compromised by the symptoms of eczema
Methylsulfonylmethane which is commonly known as MSM, is a naturally occurring compound which is found in plants and is widely used for inflammatory conditions and to boost the immune system.
MSM offers the following benefits for people with eczema:
- Anti-inflammatory – as we know, eczema is an inflammatory skin condition, characterized by redness, itchiness, dryness, and flakiness. MSM can reduce the body’s inflammatory response which is often exaggerated in people with eczema
- Strengthens keratin – keratin is the protein that acts as the main structural component of your skin, nails, and hair. MSM can stimulate keratin production, thereby improving the integrity of the skin
At Mojo Magic, we make sure to source and use only the highest quality, plant derived, organic MSM.
Mojo Magic – Natural Skincare for Eczema
At Mojo Magic we believe that nature provides us with everything we need to treat ailments. Therefore, we made it our mission to come up with a combination of ingredients that not only treat eczema and other skin conditions, but helps the skin heal too.
We also endeavour to source and use only the highest quality ingredients and essential oils in our products, making them effective natural skincare for eczema.
In our next article, we will be looking at the 5 magic oils that can be found in our products and discussing their benefits.